Seychelles participated in Blue Carbon side-event at COP 26

Seychelles, in partnership with the PEW Charitable Trust highlights the need of enhancing ambition through the nature-based solution to achieve its climate targets.

A National Determined Contribution (NDC) document comprises of the national climate plans highlighting climate action, targets and measures set by the Government to mitigate climate change. Seychelles submitted its updated National Determined Contribution before the upcoming twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties (COP26). To note, a chapter of the Seychelles’ NDC dedicated to ocean climate action and ‘blue carbon’ as Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to climate change.

Blue carbon is the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems such as mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass. Seychelles has committed to protect at least 50% of its blue carbon ecosystems (seagrass and mangrove) by 2025, and 100% by 2030. Seychelles was represented by the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment Mr. Flavien Joubert and the CEO of Seycaat Ms. Angelique Pouponeau. They were both speakers at in the Blue Carbon side-event at COP26, alongside Costa Rica and Belize all of which have recently made major commitments to conserve, manage, and restore their coastal wetlands through their updated NDCs, on Thursday 4th November.

In his remarks, Minister Flavien Joubert stated that Seychelles has been involved in conservation for a very long time and it is the first country to introduce the Marine Protected Areas. He further stated that as a country Seychelles is to leverage the benefit of those protected areas, so to benefit the other key sectors such as tourism, fisheries and other economic activities, by doing this, it has inspired other communities to come forward and practice more conservation and sustainable action.
As for Seagrass commitment in the NDC, Minister Joubert highlighted that with the support of Pew Trust and Seycaat and other partners, Seychelles would like to protect the coastal wetlands and seagrass by 50% by 2025 and 100% by 2030. He further stated that with adequate knowledge and investigation on certain marine species including their habitat, will help to protect and preserve them from external threat.

Minister Flavien Joubert also emphasized on the fact that not all countries are equals, they each have their different capacities depending on their level of development, population size and their level of expertise, some of them have better access to partnership.

“It is important as countries that we help not just ourselves, but help others, share knowledge, share resources and links, partnership is not only between the country and the entity but other countries” said Minister Joubert Other Countries on the panel discussed their NDC development and implementation phase and how the efforts highlighted in their NDC will speak to other potential natural strategies for addressing climate change. The outcomes from the side event showcased how blue carbon ecosystems will not only prevent climate change, however, they protect coastal communities from other impacts such as rising sea levels and flooding.

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